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Time, Pain, Exhaustion & Writing

Posted in amazon, art, books, children's book, classic horror, comedy, Cool Stuff, creature features, creepy, dark, digital books, ebook, facebook, fantasy, fiction, folklore, funny, halloween, horror, humor, kids, kindle, life, literature, macabre, middle grade, monsters, non-fiction, reading, scary, sci-fi, self-publishing, social media, twitter, Uncategorized, weird, Words, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on 08/10/2017 by Edward Brock

This will be the most personal post I’ve ever written, so if you don’t like those types of posts–skip this one. Though, I hope you’ll stick around, as it’s not too personal.

I recently posted on Facebook about being too old and tired to worry about trying to be published in the traditional sense–a publisher buying and producing my work. I decided I would just write the stories, have them edited, then publish them myself–through such places as Amazon/CreateSpace and others. I came to this decision for many reasons, but the primary reason is because I am in my 50s and have a variety of physical (and mental) ailments that make it difficult to write.

A brief, but relevant, backstory. When I was a teenager, I was badly beaten (by a bully). He broke my nose, my collar bone, my front tooth, fractured my eye socket and cut off a piece of my ear off–all of this from a chain. As a result, I’ve had to deal with certain physical problems–especially as I’ve gotten older. In conjunction with certain hereditary diseases, once I got into my mid-to-late 40s, I’ve found it more and more difficult to have a good quality of life. Were it not for my wife, my dogs, my books, and my doctor, I would have probably committed suicide.

As an avid reader, I also wanted to be a writer when I was younger. But, a lack of courage caused me to wait till I was almost 40. I spent the early 2000s trying my hand at writing. I published a handful of articles in, mostly, Monster Magazines until I had to have back surgery in 2010. The surgery helped a lot, but a few years later time and disease began to wear me down. Of course, it was during this time that I began to look into the growing world of digital books and found new opportunities. (By the way, I still buy–and collect–paperbacks. I buy both the paperback & digital editions of my favorite authors, shelving the PBs and reading the digital.)

Since about 2014, I’ve utilized this new medium and published a few things, while also seeking publication in professional magazines (even selling a few stories). But, my physical ailments continue to decline (some age-related, some not). As a result, I’ve had to reevaluate my desire to become a “traditionally” published writer.

It’s been argue that you’re never too old to be a writer, but that’s not always true when it comes to being published. Even with the necessary talent and skill, time does become a factor. Even with all the new publishing avenues, it’s seems harder to get published these days. I just don’t know how much time I have left and I have to be realistic about my ability to have a writing career.

I know I have some talent, but not enough talent. I know I have time, but probably not enough time. I even have some energy, but definitely not enough energy. And I don’t want to waste what remains of my life trying to break into the traditional world of publishing–even if I believed I had all the necessary talent, skill, and dedication to get there. I don’t want to be 60 or 70 and still be trying to find a home for my stories, especially when there a many other better writers whose work I want to see published and be able read. I am still a reader first and even though that becomes more difficult, I can still do that–and it requires less strength.

What all this had lead to is more of a desire to get my work out there–hopefully the best versions–while I still can, than seeing my books on the bookstore shelves. I know many writers who enjoy self-publishing (some who even make some money at it) and I find I enjoy it as well. Though I wish I could find more readers.

Anyway, what all this means is that–regardless of how some feel about self-publishing–I think it’s the best route for me. I’ve found like-minded and supportive people through social media, and thanks to the continued support of my wife (my Wonder Woman) I no longer feel guilty about making this choice. The stigma of being self-published, perpetrated by some, no longer means anything to me.  There are quality works to be found in the self-published world (as well as pure shit), just as there are poor quality works in the traditionally published world (as well as masterpieces).

I will still seek to sell stories to paying magazines/anthologies, but I no longer have the unrealistic dream of becoming a best-selling author. But that’s okay. I can still share my imagination and creativity with others. And that’s a lot coming from a cynic like myself.

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New Year. New Goals. New Attitude. Wisdom.

Posted in facebook, history, life, News, politics, social media, twitter, Uncategorized, weird, wisdom, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on 01/06/2017 by Edward Brock

2016 seems to have been a shitty year for most people. I was among those who were happy and eager for the year to end. 2017 looks like it’s on track to be even crazier, weirder, annoying and interesting.

I’m not looking forward to interacting on social media. I’ve learned, particularly in recent years, that offering your opinion on social media–especially concerning politics and culture–can be a dangerous and disheartening thing.

Regardless of where you come down on the political/cultural spectrum, there will always be people (and not just trolls) who feel it necessary to judge and condemn you. Even those with whom you share the majority of your beliefs will often turn on you for disagreeing on a single point.

Various condemnations–usually ending in some kind of “ist”–will follow if you dare to offer an opinion that doesn’t fit in a particular narrative. Your individual beliefs, ideas, thoughts, interests, and enjoyments become irrelevant in light of a, often, single disagreement. Social media has, too often, become a playground–and its cast of characters seem to be unmoving, inflexible and quick to judgement.

Anyway, what this long diatribe is leading to is my decision to–in 2017–avoid political (and, sometimes, cultural) discussions. It’s no longer worth the stress. As a result, I will only be networking about writing, books, movies, TV, music and other such entertainment (and even that can be very discouraging, as we can even be condemn for the things we like/dislike).

So, in 2017, I’m going to sit back and watch (unless my involvement becomes necessary) as entropy speeds up.

As George Carlin said –

“When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”

Think I’ll just watch for a while.

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